Black psychology in itself is a rich existing area field. Although many argue that it does not exist, the reality is different. Black psychology is as defined by Karenga ".essentially the science that systematically studies behavior in its relationship to the complexity of mental, emotional, physical and environmental factors that shape it." (pg.439) Bottom line, it is the way Black people think, act, and socialize. In the context of this paper I will discuss what Black psychology is, its origins, the various schools of thought and the contributors to the field.
Black psychology is the project of overall Black understanding of self, society, and the world. It not only focuses on the arrangement and functioning of personality but also points to the possibilities of its unlimited expansion/interaction on a social level. The interest of Black psychology revolve around the development of a field that studies the behavioral patterns of Black persons and seeks to alter them into self-conscious agents of their mental liberation. The above stated came forth through an acute critique and rejection of white psychology in terms of its methodological conclusions and the ideological premises it tests. .
Black psychology has its origins in the 1920's when Francis Summer became the first Black Ph.D. in psychology. Blacks were fed up with the racist charges of inferiority and felt they needed to make a change, they began to publish research to disprove those charges. Black psychologists began to push for stronger departments of psychology in Black schools, in an attempt to provide better psychological knowledge and services to the Black community. The Black psychologists caucus was established with the goals of promoting and teaching psychology in Black schools, to encourage study, to explore and exchange, to set up credentials for psychology teachers, and to aid Black institutions in training and selecting psychologists.